George Tarleton was an ordained minister of Chingford Congregational Church. He was drawn into the UK Charismatic Movement and was made an "apostle" within that movement by Bryn Jones. He became one of its earliest leaders, yet in this audio tape he explains his beliefs which are not those of classic evangelical Christianity. He denies the Virgin Birth, Deity of Christ, Infallibility of Scripture and assurance of salvation. He has become a Gnostic and Christian Anarchist. This audio tape is his testimony.
March 21, 2015 Subject:
I listened to your ‘epitaph’ … “Whatever Happened to George Tarleton” with an open mind and was left with mixed emotions
As someone who grew up in the faith hearing your name frequently mentioned…. Having listened to you in person (at Westminster Hall) and shared times in a living room with Maurice Smith, John Noble, Hugh Thompson, David Mathews, Peter Lyne , Tony Pullin and also in other venues, Gerald Coates, Barney Coombes, Ern Baxter, Bob Mumford, Roger Forster, Latte McDonald and Wayne Drain …. All through being in the Llanederyn Fellowship lead by Graham Perrins I feel I am uniquely qualified to respond.
I recall David Mathews (of Man’s Inhumanity to God fame) stating in his lovely Irish brogue…” why bring God’s name into your communication with a “thus sayeth the Lord”…? If you’re speaking God’s word everyone will know it…. And if it is just you that’s speaking everyone will know that too… so save yourself from embarrassment eh?”
In that vein I share my thoughts with you…
I confess to initially being dismayed when I heard that “George Charlton was no longer a Christian…” that you had “lost your faith…” As you along with the ‘Magnificent Seven’ then later the ‘Fabulous Fourteen’ were icons, heroes of the faith to me and those who came to saving faith in Christ around 1972 as part of the Jesus Movement in the UK.
At that time there was – as you recall – a great move of the Sprit which swept through the UK. It didn’t last for reasons you specified and others you alluded to in your homily. I recall Wayne saying recently that “It didn’t last because there were no ‘fathers in the faith’ to encourage the sustenance of the faith in the influx of new believer…”
I concur with him too that I believe that there is now a fresh new move of the Spirit akin to the days of the early ‘70’s and feel privileged beyond belief to, like Caleb and Joshua of old have a 2nd opportunity to enter the “promised land” ….maybe be part of that generation which heralds the return of Christ…
Having listened to you George I am relieved to hear that ‘the rumors of your (actual) spiritual demise have been greatly exaggerated’.
I absolutely thrill to your phrase “Christianity without borders”…. And I resonate with some your sentiments about ‘organized religion’
Do you not recall Maurice declaring once a prayer “Lord, do not deliver me from denominations….but deliver denominationalism out from within me”? (This was cited when he was contemplating new red velvet curtains for his new meeting hall – called Zion if I recall correctly. He realized that his thinking about the appearance of the hall was essentially identical to those who declare a pile of masonry with a steeple, bells in a bell tower and hard pews in rows ‘the house of God!’
I personally see such thinking so very pervasive, this unholy mishmash of OT theology with NT teaching. I have listened to…rather I’ve been ‘subjected’ to unbiblical teaching on ‘tithing – on gross income of course – is part of the NT expression of the church!!’ by such erudite exponents of scripture such as Lloyd Peterson (of Bristol Christian Fellowship lead by – my friend – Dave Day)
Sadly it is here in the states too….
I have long understood that the repulsiveness of idols is rooted in the limitation of the image of God by those who construct such and that such images abound today, albeit not of stone or gold or clay but constructed of ‘ought to’s and should’s’ that are either implicit but too frequently are explicitly stated concerning a believers appearance and behaviors – which often have very little to do with walking before God but keeping in step with the image of the local non/denominational body of believers.
Therefore I have, for a very long time, beaten the drum of “if any man is in Christ he IS a new creation… without having to therefore conform to ‘externally imposed’ standards”. So at this point George you and I are in total harmony… ‘the Truth is within you’ … or as I have heard Roger Forster say “The kinging it of God is within you” and that as we inwardly conform to those inner promptings we will show externally the expression of the New Creation that has been bestowed on us – the ‘treasure within an earthen vessel’
Sadly I too have seen the promotion of dependence on others – and thereby the perpetuation of spiritual immaturity – for those who make a living out of tithes (paid on gross income of course!) or those who need to sustain their own feelings of importance by having people look to them for advice, counsel, guidance etc. etc. Such sheep like mentality abounds as we are bombarded here in the States with the message of that it absolutely ok to be self-indulgent and narcissistic and have every want fulfilled. I recall Gerald saying – as I am sure you have too – that “Advertising’s goal is to take away your integrity and sell it back to you at the price of the product”.
I absolutely agree with you too that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is an absolute minimum for living out in true expression this gift of salvation. I despair when I hear people like John McArthur disparaging the Charismatics as those who offer ‘strange fire’… And this makes me think that the Enemy’s greatest weapon against the return of Christ – and his subsequent demise – is his ‘ability to deceive in the very elect of God’.(In my own experience …how ‘submission and authority’ was imposed - I am recalling John Noble’s voice in Graham’s living room as I type!)
This speaks to the fact that no-one has any immunity from Satan’s ability to deceive… including me…or you.
So while share your perspective – which to me is not Gnostic in the manner you describe – of the joy and thrill of self-discovery of who we are as sons and daughters of the Most High God and the abhorrence of the dastardly cleverness of the Enemy in promoting denominational structures laced with Pharisaic leaven I have to challenge some of the comments you made; reminding you of the ‘status’ you once held and therefore how your comments can be used to denigrate and hinder by truly ‘weaker brethren’ ….
First of all I take issue with your comments on the virgin birth. The word ‘almah can indeed mean a damsel, a maid / young girl as well as ‘virgin’ but to suggest that Christ was the therefore the first born of a man/ son of Adam – presumably not Joseph! – is to imply that this man (Jesus Christ) became divine… on his own merits attained perfection before God and so obtained the resurrection which you ardently support as having occurred!!
Is this not the same heresy of the Mormons who claim that (their) Jesus attained Godhood? Is this not the same viewpoint that Buddhists of ‘the path of self-enlightenment’ by which through personal discovery a person can obtain ‘perfection’?
You mention that Paul ‘grafted his revelation of Truth onto the stock of Judaism ‘and that should he have grafted this onto another stock that maybe there would have been a ‘different expression of Truth’…. Yet equally you have said that “the baptism of the Spirit is fundamental to the ability to live out the lifestyle of a life in relationship with God’… but I have yet to hear of devout Buddhists receiving this baptism….or any other religion….!!
You said that ‘there are many ways to Christ….’ (Which is SO close to saying there are many ways to God…!!!) and I would agree that it is the RELATIONSHIP with God that truly matters… not external observance to an external set or rules… as one may state of a marriage relationship… yet I understand that scripture – from Genesis to Revelation - speaks of ONE Person and that is Christ.
My own testimony is this… you may say this is my own ‘Gnostic path’ ….is that I called out to “The God of the Universe…” and challenged Him to ‘reveal Himself to me’ with the caveat that should he do so “I will follow” … and in essence he answered in so much as he said “This is my Son (Jesus) hear ye Him!”
To date – some 43 years after surrendering to him - I still marvel of how much I do not know about the love of God…. Being known by God…and accepted by him…. And being conformed to his likeness…! I do know that the more I have faith in what he has said through these – in your opinion - ‘imperfect scriptures’ the more I see the power of God released to change/release men and women into a healing, fulfilling and worshipping lifestyle centered on their deepened relationship with Christ
I empathize with your sentiment about the folly – and the tedium – of meetings and establishing people within a ‘church’ with all its ‘denominational – and sometimes legalistic - trappings…. But reiterate that ‘the means justifies the end’ in that such adherence to the Truth of scripture leads to a relationship with our personal savior that ‘sets us free’….
I was ‘content to live apart’ from the ‘church lifestyle’ with its tedium… superficial expressions and shallowness … with its trite little expressions of greeting hiding the real issues going on in people’s lives (struggles with pornography, finances, low self-esteem etc.) and was told to ‘get back’ and ‘wash feet’….
I find myself therefore involved in ‘church’ once more but bringing a fierce and unequivocal challenge to those I meet to develop their relationship with the living God and to ‘know him and the power of his resurrection’….
I have found that my faith in scriptures (possibly erroneously attributed to Paul) has been a real source of Truth to me… and through citing them the power of God has been released both in healings and deliverances… So I wonder at your comments which seemingly disparage the veracity of the canon of scripture and think ‘how is this helpful in establishing the freedom Christ?’
I would encourage you therefore dear George to consider again ‘former things’…. To be involved once again with promoting salvation that can ONLY be found in Christ …. The baptism in the Holy Spirit… and developing “Christianity without borders”… challenging Pharisaic attitudes wherever they are found.